Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Show gives us more medical emergencies than I thought possible to fit into two hours of television, and at the same time, serves up some important character breakthroughs, and I found it altogether pretty satisfying, all around. 😊
I hope you guys are ready to chat about Dr. Romantic episodes 9 & 10! Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:
1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. I repeat: no spoilers for future episodes please! We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.
2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
Contrary to Dong Joo’s expectations, Chairman Shin’s arrival at Doldam Hospital doesn’t help matters, but only serves to complicate things. Oops. This is a great example of how a bit of knowledge and confidence can be a dangerous thing.
Master Kim wastes no time in putting Dong Joo in his place for having the audacity to take things into his own hands, and then sends Chairman Shin off, saying that it’s too early for Chairman Shin to be hospitalized.
Afterwards, as Master Kim sees Dong Joo in his office about it, I think it’s noteworthy that Master Kim isn’t violently angry with Dong Joo, but more resigned and exasperated at Dong Joo’s shortsightedness. Also, I think it’s significant that Dong Joo isn’t as self-righteous and belligerent like he’d been at first, whenever Master Kim would judge his decision to be incorrect. Instead, Dong Joo looks distinctly deflated and perplexed, as he listens to Master Kim’s explanation of all the things that Dong Joo had overlooked, in making his move. Even though Master Kim ends the conversation by pronouncing Dong Joo an idiot, this is still some kind of progress, yes?
I really like the quiet support that Head Nurse Oh gives Master Kim, with her gentle update, and her offer of candy, for when his blood sugar drops. It also strikes me that in this scene, Master Kim appears rather affably resigned. He doesn’t have a clear plan on how to counter any of President Do’s impending attacks, and yet, he has a sense of composure about him, and is even able to give Head Nurse Oh warm, albeit slightly rueful smiles, even as he accepts her gift of candy. I’m really starting to enjoy this understated friendship – or perhaps kinship? – between Master Kim and Head Nurse Oh.
I’m not super into the political push and pull conversation between President Do and Master Kim in President Yeo’s office, but I do appreciate that the fundamental difference in their philosophies is laid out so clearly. To President Do, it’s only if the hospital survives, that the doctors can survive, but in Master Kim’s eyes, it’s only if the patients survive, that the doctors can survive. Master Kim is right (and I paraphrase); business and medicine do make poor bedfellows.
And, it’s clear that Master Kim’s (romantic) philosophy has been rubbing off on the people who study under him, too. When Seo Jung approaches President Do to apologize for disappointing him and causing him trouble, Seo Jung cannot help but insist that Master Kim didn’t do anything wrong, even though she deeply wants President Do’s approval, and even though President Do loses his cool and raises his voice at her, asking how Master Kim had brainwashed her.
The fact that Seo Jung volunteers to resign to take responsibility for the situation, even though we’ve seen that the thing that most dearly wants, is to be able to stay on at Doldam Hospital, shows just how deeply she desires to protect Master Kim. Even though her position appears to be at least tenuous anyway, due to the investigation, I do still think that it counts for something, that she willingly walks away from the job that is so precious to her.
How awful of President Do, though, to promptly cut ties with her, even though he’s been her guardian for so many years. Ugh. Honestly, he’s so toxic that I don’t think Seo Jung’s really losing anything, with him cutting off their relationship. But, I do feel really bad for Seo Jung, because she’s looked upon him, and up to him, as her guardian for so long, and this clearly hurts her deeply. Our poor girl. 💔
It feels like Seo Jung is so defeated by her perceived uselessness, that she tenders her resignation and leaves for Seoul without even saying goodbye. To my eyes, she’s doing this, not to punish the people around her, but to punish herself. I feel so bad for her, because I do think she is too hard on herself, and tries to bear too much on her own shoulders, even when it’s not her fault to begin with.
I find it interesting that Master Kim gives Dong Joo the sole responsibility of bringing Seo Jung back to Doldam, after she goes missing. From what we can see later on, it would seem that Master Kim had some idea that she would likely be ok, so I wonder if this assignment is born out of Master Kim thinking it would be a good way for Dong Joo to stretch his empathy muscles, rather than Master Kim truly worrying about Seo Jung’s disappearance.
I actually really like this burgeoning connection that we’re seeing between In Beom and Seo Jung. He’s no longer antagonistic when she talks to him, and now, he even offers to drive her to Seoul, if that’s where she wants to go. They may not be related, but I think I’m still holding out hope for some kind of faux-sibling relationship.
Even though In Beom does still put up a bit of a prickly front, he seems to understand Seo Jung quite well. The way he points out why she’s talking so much – because she’s feeling uneasy about the phone call from Dong Joo, and also, about her resignation – is spot-on. That’s pretty impressive, I think, and I feel it says something about In Beom’s ability to read people, since he doesn’t actually know Seo Jung all that well.
It’s pretty satisfying to see Director Song learn first-hand, about what things are like at Doldam Hospital’s ER on a busy Friday. After all his smug disdain at the Doldam team, I feel like he’s quickly learning some empathy and respect for what they do, with the little that they have in terms of resources. Also, it feels like poetic justice of some sort, that he’s being punished with the full chaotic force of a Friday ER, while all the other surgeons are unavailable. Heh. I am reveling a bit, in this schadenfreude. 😅
I do think that the details around Seo Jung’s diagnosis leans convenient and pat. While I can buy that Master Kim would be able to influence the psychiatrist evaluating Seo Jung because of their pre-existing relationship, and that the doctor (who is clearly more flexible than he first appears) would take into account the various words and pieces of evidence submitted by the members of the Doldam team, it does strike me as odd, that Seo Jung would say that she’d never once wanted to die.
If that’s true, then why had she slit her wrist? In that scene, which had happened quite recently in our drama world, it had appeared that she’d been driven to slit her wrist, by the voices in her head, which insisted that Dr. Moon had died because of her. If what Seo Jung had said is true, then how do we reconcile that with this wrist-slitting scene? 🧐
I honestly think that this is just Show’s way of wrapping up this arc, such that Seo Jung not only gets to stay on at Doldam Hospital, but also gets to work on her career as a doctor, without the shadow of her PTSD haunting her. Frankly, I don’t think this is very strong writing, but I’m willing to just close my eyes and roll with it, because I would like to see Seo Jung move beyond her PTSD, to conquer greater heights, while feeling free.
It’s actually really nice, that the first person Seo Jung sees, after receiving her freeing diagnosis, is Dong Joo, who’s intently chased her down, all the way to Geodae Hospital. There is a lot of unspoken gladness in the way their eyes meet across the crowd, and Seo Jung definitely looks pleasantly surprised to see Dong Joo.
I like the slightly amused manner in which Dong Joo asks Seo Jung if she’s crying, but more than that, I like the sense that there’s a lot going on beneath the surface between these two, even though they don’t say much, in the moment. It just feels like they’re finding comfort and gladness in each other, and I feel that Dong Joo quietly and gently reaching for Seo Jung’s hand, is a response to that unspoken connection.
And, unlike the first time we’ve seen Dong Joo make an advance towards Seo Jung, where he’d just moved in and kissed her, this time, he asks her permission to keep holding her hand, at least until it warms up. This progress feels muted and down-to-earth, and I hafta say, I really like it. It does feel like, with this hand-hold, something’s shifted in their relationship, and I’m curious to see how this develops.
How curious, that Yeon Hwa, who’s heretofore been hovering on the sidelines doing odd jobs around the hospital in exchange for the treatment that she’d received, is actually knowledgable enough about medicine, to identify that the ER patient has aerodermectasia (an accumulation of air in the subcutaneous tissues), AND, is able to administer emergency care to the patient, in the absence of available doctors. Woah. I hadn’t seen that coming. 😳
With our usually quiet and amiable Eun Tak punching out the rather hateful Auditor Choi from Internal Affairs, and Dong Joo and Seo Jung happening on a 6-car collision accident scene while on their way back to Doldam Hospital, our next episode looks all set to be full of Drama with a capital D. 😅
It’s an Extra Dramatic Friday Night at Doldam Hospital, and I gotta say, I found it all-around quite thrilling to be a fly on that hospital’s wall, this hour.
First of all, it’s quite a jaw-dropping experience to see our usually serene Eun Tak lose his cool and actually punch Auditor Choi from Internal Affairs. Plus, he’s not sorry about it either, and he doesn’t look intimidated, even when Auditor Choi moves to call in the police. The anger and defiance radiating from Eun Tak is something that I didn’t expect, particularly since he’s always been so calm and unruffled, through all of our previous emergencies. I’m definitely sitting up and taking more notice of Eun Tak, going forward.
Second of all, it’s pretty cool to see Dong Joo and Seo Jung jump into action at the scene of the accident (though it’s definitely not cool that there was an accident to begin with, just so we’re clear).
They seem so focused, systematic and organized, even though there are so many wounded from the crash. I also found it pretty great that In Beom could join them on the scene, to help tend to the wounded. I daresay that without the serendipity of these three doctors happening on the scene, that many more people would have died in the accident. Even though these three doctors have not spent much time working together at all, there’s a synergy about their teamwork that I really enjoy. Credit to Master Kim, for assessing the situation so well over the phone, and zooming in on how Dong Joo and Seo Jung should prioritize the wounded.
I do like that detail, that when Dong Joo realizes that Seo Jung is staying behind to tend to the wounded on the scene while he and In Beom go in to the ER, he takes off his own jacket to put it on Seo Jung’s shoulders. Notably, she doesn’t resist, and the vibe between them is rather cozy, like him giving her his jacket is the most natural thing in the world. This clearly doesn’t escape In Beom’s notice, and I’m curious to see where Show goes with this.
I don’t mean to be mean, but there’s a measure of poetic justice in the fact that Auditor Choi is stopped dead in his tracks, when he realizes that the little girl that he’s trying to stop Master Kim from treating, is his own daughter. Of course, things look very different all of a sudden, when the patient is your own child.
Credit to Kim Joon Won who plays Auditor Choi; I actually found Auditor Choi’s reactions very layered. I felt Auditor Choi’s dilemma, in terms of whether to continue to uphold his work principles, even when it was his own daughter’s life at stake, and I also felt his deep horror and pain, as a parent. I was pretty amazed that I went so quickly from hating his guts, to feeling sorry for him. (Could our girl Seo Jung be rubbing off on me, I wonder? 😅)
What a testament to Master Kim’s professionalism and compassion, that he treats Auditor Choi with kindness, even though, just minutes before, Auditor Choi had been taunting him and threatening to basically destroy the entire hospital, along with Master Kim.
Later, when Auditor Choi asks Master Kim what Master Kim wants from him, I love the words of wisdom that Master Kim leaves him, “You should go see your kid. I know that you are trying hard to do your job. But let’s not live like a fool. People should live their lives knowing what they are living for.”
It seems that that’s exactly what Auditor Choi needs to hear, because the next thing we know, he’s risking President Do’s wrath and summoning an orthopedic surgeon from Geodae Hospital, to operate on the patients at Doldam Hospital who’d crushed their legs in the accident. Aw. I do love that idea, that ripples of kindness multiply, as they flow out to others.
I’m a little startled this episode, to learn that In Beom basically lied about his experience dealing with Boerhaave’s syndrome, so that he’d have the opportunity to operate on the patient. 😳 I mean, it’s good that the surgery is a success, but it does niggle at me that he’d lied in order to get that chance to operate, which means that he was hiding a level of risk from Master Kim.
Certainly, Master Kim might have still assigned the surgery to him, seeing as how the hospital is so overwhelmed with emergency patients, but I think it’s not right that In Beom didn’t give full disclosure to Master Kim. I feel like this is something that Master Kim will have to work on, in him, going forward. And, I also feel like In Beom’s behavior in this incident, kinda-sorta reminds me of what we might have expected from Dong Joo, in the past, where he would spin the truth in order to make himself look &/or feel better.
Significantly, this time, Dong Joo doesn’t protest at all, that Master Kim assigns him to assist In Beom during the surgery, and simply tells Master Kim that he will go ahead to prepare for the surgery. Interestingly, even after Dong Joo realizes that In Beom had lied about his experience with Boerhaave’s syndrome, he doesn’t tattle on In Beom to Master Kim – and that is most certainly something that I could imagine the old Dong Joo doing.
Also, the way Dong Joo answers Yeon Hwa’s question, about how he deals with discouragement and the urge to quit, shows that he has a fresh understanding of just how far he has to go, as a doctor.
Yeon Hwa: “What about your beliefs as a doctor… or the sense of duty?”
Dong Joo: “I think… I need at least 10 years of experience to know those things. Speaking about it and knowing it for real are different things.”
And, when Seo Jung is despondent over losing a patient, it’s Dong Joo who now brings her a hot coffee, and sits with her, to remind her that she’s done her best, and is only human. Aw. Our Dong Joo has grown up a fair bit since we first met him, hasn’t he?
I’m so happy for Seo Jung, that the patient whom she’d recommended the special therapy to, wakes up from his coma, and gets a second chance at life after all. This really is all thanks to Seo Jung’s instincts as a doctor, and her perseverance in persuading the family members to try the treatment, despite protests from all around her. This man absolutely does owe his life to Seo Jung, and I’m so glad that she gets to see that.
And, yay that Master Kim officially takes Seo Jung off orderly duty, and allows her to resume her duties as a doctor.
I also just wanted to mention for the record, that when Master Kim tells Seo Jung not to cry, because he’ll get emotional, he says “정들어” (jeong deureo), which literally means “feelings come in,” a phrase that is generally used to describe the growing of affection. So, he’s actually telling Seo Jung not to cry, because he might grow affectionate of her. This is the second time I’ve observed Master Kim use this phrase, and I find that in effect, it’s quite ironic actually, because Master Kim definitely has more affection for his doctors than he’d like to admit.
Manager Joo spending time in Master Kim’s office, and going through his files, is such an overstepping of boundaries. It kind of blows my mind that anyone would think that that is ok behavior, particularly since she’s not on exactly close terms with Master Kim.
I’m intrigued at what she says, though, about Master Kim having a plan, and that that plan involves a core team of people. When she asks Master Kim who those people might be, I feel like Master Kim does give her a sideways sort of answer, in his answer to Head Nurse Oh, with regard to who to call into the surgery with the orthopedic surgeon from Geodae. Master Kim names Dr. Nam, Dong Joo, In Beom, Seo Jung, Eun Tak and Head Nurse Oh herself, and I feel like in answering Head Nurse Oh’s questions, he’s answering Manager Joo’s as well; that this is the core team that he has in mind.
I gotta say, I found the scene of the whole team napping in the doctor’s rest area, post-surgery, a really heartwarming sight. They all look tired out, but they also look like they’ve done good work, together, and sprawled out in various corners as they are, they also look like a community. I like that a lot. ❤️
I’m looking forward to seeing this team grow together, particularly in the areas of trust and synergy, but in the meantime, it looks like there might be complications on the horizon, with President Do angling to get Dong Joo on his side, and Seo Jung possibly falling out of favor with Master Kim again, after he catches her lounging in his office with Jang Hyeon Joo’s student card in her hand. Yikes. 😬 I suppose the path to greatness never does run smooth..?